Going once...: Stones tickets on eBay

After Ticketmaster allegedly sold out the local October 6 Rolling Stones performance back in May, fans might have been expected to turn to eBay for help. But sellers on the popular on-line auction site are not finding too many eager buyers in Charlottesville. Few auctions received bids, and even fewer turned a profit for the seller.

A recent glance at some ended eBay auctions revealed that field seating tickets were most successful. Two field tickets, in section B4, sold for $399 in late September. Considering their $95 face value, the savvy peddler pocketed over $100 per ticket profit, minus taxes, Ticketmaster costs, and the eBay listing fee. Three days later, another online bidder paid $800 for two prime seats on the field. But since Ticketmaster added over $53 in "convenience" fees, the seller of these $350 tickets may not have broken even on the investment.

Many upper-level and lower-level tickets were even less lucrative for sellers. Many auctions garnered no bidders, sold below face value, or attracted just $30 to $40 over the original price. However, two upper-level seats, face value $60, sold for $200 on September 20 the buyer opting for the seller's "Buy It Now" price, which requires no bidding.

In the final days leading up to the concert, the going rate on eBay for a pair of $95 lower-level tickets was $200. When Ticketmaster's "convenience" fees gobble up an additional $15.60 per ticket, that's a losing sale.

On Monday, September 26, concert promoters unveiled another wave of tickets available from Ticketmaster at "all price levels." Meanwhile, over 20 classified ads in the Daily Progress are begging for buyers, some even happy to sell for "best offer."

When the most active online auction of Scott Stadium Stones tickets receives only 14 bids, maybe the message is that supply met demand. Or that Charlottesville rockers still prefer old-school scalping techniques: yelling for hours and hustling potential buyers on street corners.

We'll see on Thursday night.

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